Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What would happen if consumers lobbied against food waste?

I highly recommend this podcast update on food waste by Tristram Stuart.
Stuart is the British food waste maven, who began his explorations as a teen, asking for food waste generated at his school to take home to feed his pigs.
In this broadcast he asks what would happen if food consumers in the rich world spent as much effort advocating against food waste as they do (for example) demanding organic labeling and preventing schools from selling sugary drinks?  We might make a bigger difference, in the lives of the poor and the health of the planet, than we have with any of these other initiatives.
(Doesn't mean you should vote against Prop 37, Californians - only that we need to reach beyond to other issues which pervade every step of our consumer food chain, from grower to dump/compost.)

Flea Market, Harvest Fest, and Produce Swap

at the Sonoma Valley Grange last weekend.

Here are a few photos from the produce swap table which the Sonoma Valley Gleaning Project set up.

Reflecting on Gleaning

A few weeks ago I began to wonder if gleaning wasn't a way of participating in redemption.  "Redeem," after all, means to buy back.   And there is a sense in which when we glean we buy back with our sweaty work of picking and hauling that which would otherwise be lost or wasted.

Does that make it sound joyless?   I hope not.   I have moments of pure joy, even when my hands are sticky and stained and my back or hips or knees hurt - just to be out and participating in the economy of creation.   We had just such a day last Friday, just warm enough to cause some perspiring, but with the sun autumn gentle, picking figs from 70+ year old trees, and gathering walnuts, on an old property in Sonoma which has been inhabited by members of one extended family for over 150 years.  

The walnut trees had already had the long stick treatment, so we were invited just to gather what we could from the ground.  Lots of bending, especially if you are tall!  But we got 9 pounds in a short time.

There were nuts still popping from the trees, and I hope to go back this weekend and glean some more to deliver to non-profits which cook, like the Teen Center.  Weather will determine whether or not I do.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The colors of fall are green and orange

Not green and gold, or orange and black.   Green and orange.

Here's about half of my winter squash crop.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October food of the month

Well, we all know what October is, right - the month of post season baseball!

Even though there are still many questions in the American League about who will play whom when, things are looking good for the surprising Oakland A's to get to at least one game after these last three regular season ones.

In honor of this most glorious of baseball months, I decided to declare the food of the month at my parish the one canned vegetable that food pantry patrons want - corn.   May there be many can of corn catches in the days ahead!

What?  You don't know "can of corn"?   Check out the Wikipedia glossary of baseball here: